Montevideo – Uruguay (Wednesday, 10-11-2017, Gaudium Press) The Archdiocese of Montevideo has just organized the Second Marian Congress under the theme “Meeting with Mary”, which took place on October 6, 7 and 8.
The first day, Friday 6, was dedicated to various activities such as visits to neighbors to invite them to the recitation of the rosary, adorations to the Blessed Sacrament, and talks about devotion to the Blessed Virgin who were performed in parishes, schools or public halls.
The second day, Saturday 7, was dedicated to lectures on the subject of Marian doctrine and devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, which were held at the Salesian School. The day began with the celebration of Eucharist presided over by the Archbishop of Montevideo, Cardinal Daniel Sturla, OSB. This activity concluded with a night vigil in front of the Blessed Sacrament exposed, and a procession through the central streets of Montevideo, carrying a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Sunday 8 began with the recitation of the Holy Rosary at a well-known park near the sea shore called “Aduana de Oribe”. Then the Eucharist was celebrated having in attendance approximately 30.000 people. The main celebrant was Cardinal Sturla, who was accompanied by his auxiliary Bishop Milton Troccoli, as well as Bishop Carlos María Collazzi, president of the Episcopal Conference of Uruguay, Bishop Rodolfo Wirz Bishop of Maldonado, Bishop Arturo Fajardo de San José and Archbishop Nicolás Cotugno Archbishop emeritus of Montevideo. More than a hundred priests also were present.
For this occasion, the relics of the apostles Saint James and Saint Philip, official patrons of the archdiocese, were brought from Rome. These relics will remain permanently in the cathedral of Montevideo for the veneration of the faithful.
About twenty priests were available for confession, from 10 am until 1 pm.
Finally, Cardinal Sturla consecrated the diocese of Montevideo to the Blessed Virgin in front of an image of Our Lady of the Treinta y Tres, patroness of Uruguay. This consecration has been prepared during thirty days following the prayers of a daily prayer booklet put together by the archdiocese and inspired by the method of the great French Marian apostle, St. Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort.
On Sunday, before 9 o’clock in the morning people were already arriving at the site where a big altar was set up. Among the faithful there could be seen many families with young children and many youths who had been present for the night vigil. About 10 o’clock in the morning, the recitation of the Rosary started. Each decade had a different leader: a family, a priest, religious sisters.
The Mass began with a solemn entrance procession of all the bishops, priests and deacons and at the end came the statue of the of “La Virgen de los treinta y Tres”. The presence of the Patroness of Uruguay led the crowd to a range of applause as well as tears of joy in some of the faithful faces. The statue was placed next to the altar. Another statue, of Our Lady of Graces, was also present at another location.
“Uruguay needs Christ”
Cardinal Daniel Sturla began his homily by reminding a saying of the famous and joyful Italian saint St. Philip Neri as a way of expressing his own fillings at that moment: “I feel that someone would have to tell me a joke that would bring me down to earth, because there is too much joy to be here.” He also said that the words of Mary in the Magnificat “today become flesh in us,” because there is a great deal “to thank God today.”
Later, the Cardinal remarked that the Church wants to live a culture of encounter. “An encounter with this Uruguayan society that we have forged, of which we are part of it,” he added.
He also wanted to emphasize what a gift of Providence it has been for our city the arrival of the relics of the apostles St. Philip and St. James. He was grateful for the presence of the parish priest of the Basilica of the Twelve Apostles in Rome, Fray Agnello Stoia Ofm. Conv., who made this possible.
The archbishop mentioned that in addition to being apostolic, “our Church is Marian,” because “the Church, like Mary, receives the Holy Spirit, who is the one who engenders Jesus in the whole Church.” “We are also a Marian Church because more than what we do, what we receive, rather than being apostles, is the gift we receive from the day of our baptism, in which we are consecrated by God as his children.”
Finally the Cardinal called everyone to imitate Mary in following her divine son Jesus: “Uruguay needs Christ, needs Christ desperately”, he emphasized.
A feast of the Church
A recorded video message for the occasion from Pope Francis to all Uruguayans participating of this Mass and as a closing remark of the Second Marian Congress, was shown which ended with a warm applause.
The Cardinal pronounced the solemn consecration of the city of Montevideo to the Blessed Virgin Mary. The prayer of Consecration was read in two voices by the faithful in a special atmosphere of recollection. This act brought to an end the three days of the Second Marian Congress under the theme “Meeting with Mary”.
Commenting this consecration of the Archdiocese of Montevideo to the Blessed Virgin, Fr. Alberto Arcos-Pérez, in charge of the Heralds of the Gospel in Uruguay, said: “This is a very important day in the history of archdiocese of Montevideo, because it is through Mary that we get faster, safer and easier to Jesus Christ. Therefore, if we want to take the best route to Jesus let us go through the Virgin Mary. St. Louis Mary Grignion de Montfort says that when we want to offer something to Jesus, our King, it is through the Queen that we must do it; the King will receive our gift in a more affectionate way. Cardinal Sturla and the Church of Montevideo are traveling that way, to lead us all to Jesus through the Blessed Virgin Mary”.
This event was highly commented on in the main news media in the country.
With information from the Iglesia Catolica Montevideo